WHAT IS MEMBERSHIP?
Membership is a covenant between people committed to Jesus, the Gospel and the leadership of Blaze Christian Fellowship.
The weight of entering into a covenant may be diminished in our culture where promises are made casually and broken vows are the norm. But we use the language intentionally to communicate that membership is to be entered into with sobriety and commitment. This commitment goes two ways: In choosing to become a member you are expressing your desire to be fully committed to Blaze Christian Fellowship and its leadership. You are also receiving a promise from the leadership and fellow members of Blaze Christian Fellowship of counsel, service, aid, prayer, teaching and guidance.
WHY IS COMMITMENT IMPORTANT?
No one will ever grow in the church if they leave as soon as things get hard.
Blaze Christian Fellowship is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ who live out the implications of the gospel rather than just giving it lip service. This means that we strive to help you grow in maturity and holiness. This means that sometimes you will be challenged by things you hear from the pulpit or from across a table. Sometimes you will be called to step outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes decisions will be made that don’t align with your preferences. You will, inevitably, experience conflict.
Your first inclination may be to bail as soon as you get comfortable. Past experience may tell you that the slightest conflict equals the end of a relationship. If all you are doing is dating the church without investment or commitment, you may be tempted to simply move on as soon as the initial fondness starts to fade, after all, there’s another church down the road. However, just like in the covenant of marriage, growth happens when we stay true to our commitment, address sin and conflict, and allow ourselves to be challenged and stretched. That’s where sanctification happens, that’s were disciples are made, that’s also where real joy is found.
Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church in Dallas, Texas, puts it well:
“If you view church as some sort of...buffet, then you severely limit the likelihood of your growing into maturity. Growth into godliness can hurt. For instance, as I interact with others in my own local body, my own slothfulness in zeal is exposed, as is my lack of patience, my praylessness, and my hesitancy to associate with the lowly. Yet this interaction also gives me the opportunity to be lovingly confronted by brothers and sisters who are in the trenches with me, as well as a safe place to confess and repent. But when church is just a place you attend without ever joining, like an ecclesiological(2) buffet, you just might consider whether you’re always leaving whenever your heart begins to be exposed by the Spirit, and the real work is beginning to happen.”
Lastly, commitment is necessary because members have an important role to play. The church has a blemished track record of allowing members to become observers and consumers while pastors and staff are looked upon to provide services and “to do ministry”. However, at Blaze Christian Fellowship we are committed to equipping members to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12) and to operate in their gifts so that the church grows into a mature and healthy body (Ephesians 4:15-16). Pastors cannot meet every need in the church, nor can they single handedly transform our communities. But a committed, proactive body of disciples of Jesus Christ is a powerful force for the Kingdom. It’s what God desires for us and from us.